They were too late. Cato Sicarius, Captain of the Ultramarine's Second Company could see this as soon as he stepped off from the Thunderhawk Gunship. It smelled of decay and death, blighted land spread from the Imperial Compound. This is not possible, we came as soon as we could.
"Brother-Sergeant Vandar" he called to the Marine stood nearby, "Scout the perimeters. This may well be a trap and I do not intend to lose more men this day." Vandar gave a short bow in acknowledgement. "Yes Captain" he responded before marching away to find his brothers. Sicarius drew his plasma pistol and his Talassarian Tempest blade and rallied the rest of his force. "Brothers, on me. We march into the mouth of hell, let us make fear itself fear the Emperor's wrath!" The call was received with cheers and calls for the Emperor as the company marched through the decayed gates of the Imperial Compound.
Alongside the Captain strode the the first Tactical Squad Solinus, the most experienced men in the Second Company in siege warfare. Their experience in the field will be invaluable should the Great Enemy be lurking. The auspex carried by Brother Otho began to bleep. "Captain, there's a life sign coming from that building." A life sign in this desolate place? "Brother-Sergeant Octavian, you and your squad cover me, this could be a trap."
Cato Sicarius was not only a Space Marine, but a Captain of the 13th Legion Ultramarines and the Grand Duke of Talassar besides. He knew no fear, whatever was lurking in that building would taste his plasma pistol before it could lay a putrid finger on him. As he advanced toward the Imperial Bunker, a lone guardsman staggered out of the archway, his face looked melted with decay like a candle lit on one side, and his eyes wept puss. He collapsed by the door. "By the Emperor, I thought my eyes deceived me" he weezed. Sicarius sheathed his blade and knelt beside the guardsman. "What happened here soldier?" At this close a range he could see the man's eyes were milky and pale. "It was... one of them. A traitor with... green and... festered armour. He slew countless..." The guardsman coughed and hacked, fighting the disease within him. "They rose... again... he led them north... the dead..."
How could we not have known? Sicarius's personal vox rung in his ear. "Captain" the voice addressed, it was Vandar. "A ship has just left planetside. There were... countless men, all plagued. All... dead. The entire regiment smelled of the Warp." The Captain cut off the transmission. "What is your name soldier?" he asked the guardsman in as gentle a voice as he could manage. "Johnson... Farrick Johnson" came the response. "You have fought bravely in the name of the Emperor. Your name will forever be remember guardsman Farrick Johnson, and your death shall be avenged."
Farrick's head suddenly exploded in a shower of blood, puss and bone fragments. Sicarius got to his feet and turned to see Octavian reslinging his bolter over one shoulder. "Brothers, we are needed elsewhere. We leave immediately." So, him again.
We will track him down, and this time he shall not escape.
So what do you all think? If you're wondering what all that was about, A Tale of X Gamers is more than just about collecting a brand new army and starting from the ground up. It's about forging a story, a narrative, to direct your force along the campaign. The above story was inspired by my fellow Tale of X Gamers player's choice in army (you can read his post about it here). Of course with my choice being Ultramarines, it'll be very restricted as to what I can make up, but I love writing and I enjoy a challenge. The Ultramarine side of the campaign I have decided shall be told in the perspective of Captain Cato Sicarius, whom I dug out of my old miniatures and he's hardly touched! I also found an out of production Sergeant who will represent Sergeant Vandar of the 5th Tactical Squad Second Company, who was mentioned in the above prologue.
I was also naughty and bought a Tactical Squad and some conversion bits from Anvil Industry (still in the post) to help me achieve my Roman theme. I will keep you all updated.